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Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Sep 1;11(17):6333-41.

Down-regulation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 expression using vector-based small interfering RNAs suppresses growth of human prostate tumor in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Pathophysiology, School of Basic Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, PR China.



Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) is constitutively activated in a variety of cancers and it is a common feature of prostate cancer. Thus, Stat3 represents a promising molecular target for tumor therapy. We applied a DNA vector-based Stat3-specific RNA interference approach to block Stat3 signaling and to evaluate the biological consequences of Stat3 down-modulation on tumor growth using a mouse model.


To investigate the therapeutic potential of blocking Stat3 in cancer cells, three small interfering RNAs (siRNA; Stat3-1, Stat3-2, and Stat3-3) specific for different target sites on Stat3 mRNA were designed and used with a DNA vector-based RNA interference approach expressing short hairpin RNAs to knockdown Stat3 expression in human prostate cancer cells in vitro as well as in vivo.


Of the three equivalently expressed siRNAs, only Stat3-3 and Stat3-2, which target the region coding for the SH2 domain and the coiled-coil domain, respectively, strongly suppressed the expression of Stat3 in PC3 and LNCaP cells. The Stat3-1 siRNA, which targeted the DNA-binding domain, exerted no effect on Stat3 expression, indicating that the gene silencing efficiency of siRNA may be dependent on the local structure of Stat3 mRNA. The Stat3 siRNAs down-regulated the expression of Bcl-2 (an anti-apoptotic protein), and cyclin D1 and c-Myc (cell growth activators) in prostate cancer cells. Inhibition of Stat3 and its related genes was accompanied by growth suppression and induction of apoptosis in cancer cells in vitro and in tumors implanted in nude mice.


These data indicate that Stat3 signaling is a promising molecular target for prostate cancer therapy and that vector-based Stat3 siRNA may be useful as a therapeutic agent for treatment of prostate cancer.

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